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Estonia Supporting Activities of CSOs in Developing Countries

18.01.2013

The Foreign Ministry has decided to support the Lifeline Embattled NGOs Assistance Fund, which aims to protect from persecution civil society organisations (CSOs) and the people who are working for them under difficult political conditions.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that supporting the development of civil society and democracy all over the world is important to Estonia. “Estonia is a steady supporter of democracy, security, and human rights. The countries that wish to move towards a free and open society are especially in need of our support. We feel it is important to support the activities of CSOs, especially in countries where the political situation and attitude towards CSOs hinders their work or even leads to the persecution of their workers,” said Paet.

Foreign Minister Paet said that the work of the Lifeline Embattled NGOs Assistance Fund extends across the globe, which is why Estonia would like to make contributions through the organisation towards protecting civil society organisations and their work in countries where Estonian CSOs are carrying out development co-operation projects.

The creation of the Lifeline Embattled NGOs Assistance Fund was initiated by Secretary of State of the USA Hillary Clinton in 2010. Estonia has decided to support the fund with 20 000 euros.

The goal of the fund is to protect the work of civil society organisations in countries where their work or employees have faced repression by the authorities. The fund can help provide opportunities to obtain legal representation, medical care, transportation, trial monitoring, and information and communication technology equipment.  It also provides support to local CSOs in carrying out more sensitive projects (publications, events, regional connectedness, raising awareness, etc).

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